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Notes by the artist: The term poetry film encompasses a wide variety of forms from live action to animation to hybrid, yet all involve both spoken and/or visual text, following the definition by William C. Wees. Whilst a videopoem, as defined by Tom Konyves, is a poem that has been created as the sum of text, image and sound on video, rather than a filmic interpretation of an earlier, written poem, a poetry film can be both. . The term ‘video’, in my view, brings to mind the medium and a specific period, whilst ‘film’ makes historical links specifically with early twentieth-century experimental poetry made on film. Unlike the extended multi-dimensional interactive experience of new media poetic work on the internet (often exploring chance effects and new forms of code), a poetry film is often only three minutes in length and designed to be screened for a cinema-going audience to watch collectively. Poetry films focus on poetic narrative, even where, as in my works, the narrative is highly conceptual and implicated in the relation between text and material surface effects.
In She Seasons Contemplating Nature, text from women’s magazines disappears and re-emerges (de/rematerialises) within a changing, coloured sphere, accompanied by the metronomic beat of star sounds. Visual and aural cyclical rhythms reference the importance of ‘turning’ in verse forms (the word verse originating in part from the act of turning as a ploughman turns a plough). However, unlike traditional verse, the aural metronomic sounds are created by star sounds rather than the human voice.In the Turning is the first in a series of graphic verse poetry films containing a de/rematerialisation effect (rays emanating from the word ‘Sun’), and exploring the tensions between repetitive sequential verse and visuo-spatial words. Here, the voice echoes the text as it scrolls upwards, accompanied by ancient Egyptian music. In this film the bands of colour are determined by the fall of the lines of verse.
Sarah Tremlett is a British experimental poetry filmmaker, artist and arts theorist, currently writing a book on poetry film. Described as a ‘visual philosopher’ by Karina Karaeva (Video Curator, National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow), she is co-director of Liberated Words poetry film events and co-conceived and organised MIX (Merging Intermedia Conference) in 2012. She has been known since 2005 for what she has termed 'minimal’ poetry films, exploring perceptual surface effects in combination with minimal poetic texts.
These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Star sounds in She Seasons are kindly provided by astrophysicist Dr. Garik Israelian, working at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory on La Palma. The music on In the Turning by the artist named Egypt, was obtained as an open access download from MP3too.
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